Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Thursday held a virtual meeting to review their ongoing cooperation in launching a joint lunar polar exploration (LUPEX) mission.
K Sivan is the secretary of the Space Department and Chairman of the Space Commission and ISRO. (Image: PTI)
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) on Thursday reviewed their ongoing cooperation to launch a joint lunar polar exploration (LUPEX) mission.
Scientists from both space agencies have been jointly working on the mission that aims to send a lander and rover to the Moon’s south pole around 2024.
Secretary in the Department of Space and ISRO Chairman K Sivan and JAXA President Hiroshi Yamakawa led their respective delegations at a bilateral meeting held on virtual mode.
“Apart from reviewing on-going cooperation in earth observation, lunar cooperation and satellite navigation, both sides have agreed to explore opportunities for cooperation in space situational awareness and professional exchange programme”, an ISRO statement said.
“On this occasion, both agencies signed an ‘Implementing Arrangement’ for collaborative activities on rice crop area and air quality monitoring using satellite data”, the Bengaluru headquartered space agency said.
On March 4, India and Italy had decided to explore opportunities in the field of earth observation, space science and robotic and human exploration.
On February 28, ISRO successfully launched the 637-kg Brazilian satellite Amazonia-1 onboard PSLV-C51 rocket from the Sriharikota spaceport.
Brazil’s Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Marcos Pontes visited ISROs Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh’s Nellore district, about 100 km from Chennai, and witnessed the launch.
Union Minister Jitendra Singh, who heads the DoS, also had a virtual interaction with Pontes and officials of the Brazilian space agency.
“Brazil has requested India’s support in procurement of material and systems for its launch vehicle programme,” a DoS statement said.
“Cooperation possibilities in future space science missions, utilising ISRO’s PS4-orbital platform (PS4-OP) space weather studies etc. were discussed”, the official statement said.
PS4-OP refers to a novel idea formulated byISROto use the spentPS4stage (fourth stage of PSLV) to carry out in-orbit scientific experiments for an extended duration of one to six months.
Sivan also had a virtual meeting with the Head of the Australian Space Agency, Enrico Palermo, on February 17.
“Both leaders have also reviewed the status of on-going cooperation activities in earth observation, satellite navigation, space situational awareness and establishment of the transportable terminal in Australia to support India’s ‘Gaganyaan’ programme”, ISRO had said at the time.
According to ISRO, India has always recognised that space has a dimension beyond national considerations, which can only be addressed along with international partners.